According to one recent study, Mississippi lead the nation when it came to the number of auto loan delinquencies. The Clarion Ledger reports that the study, from TransUnion, revealed that the state led all others with an auto delinquency rate of 0.97 percent when it came to current auto loans from January to March. While the numbers were discouraging, they were lower than the last three months of 2010, when the delinquency rate was 1.04 percent. Many industry experts say that the rate of late payments on auto loans has a lot to do with the overall economic picture, since loans are typically one of the first things people spend their income on. "Often, auto delinquencies are impacted by macroeconomic, localized factors," says Peter Turek, automotive vice president of TransUnion's Financial Services Group, in an interview with the Clarion Ledger. "There's employment. There's disposable income." The U.S. auto industry as a whole is reporting some sales declines as of late. U.S. auto sales dropped 3.7 percent in May from a year earlier thanks largely to higher gas prices and shorter supplies.